Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Chalk

Thomson, Bill (Author/Illustrator)
Amazon 2010. 40 pages
First published: 2010
ISBN: 9780761455264 (hardcover)
Original language: English
Book type: Picture Book

Text Elements:

character, setting

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL Intensive & Enriched
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

In this wordless picture book, three kids find a bag of chalk at the park and begin to draw. The things they draw come to life, which is fun until one of the kids draws a dinosaur and they must run and hide in the jungle gym, so as not to be devoured.

The illustrations, done in pencil crayon and acrylics, are breathtakingly realistic and almost look like photographs. One page features a chalk drawing of a monarch butterfly coming to life. The scene is fantastical, with dozens of huge monarchs fluttering and diving into the pavement, while the kids throw their arms up in wonder.

The children are ethnically diverse, and their varying expressions are expertly rendered: tentative, ecstatic, sneaky. When the dinosaur comes alive, the illustration shows the children from above, obscured by the giant shadow of the beast, their expressions revealing shock, horror and fear.

Saved by the rain, which melts the dinosaur into a big green puddle, the children place the bag of chalk back in the mouth of the park’s toy dinosaur and head home. The final illustration shows them walking away on the wet pavement while the boy turns around, warily, as if to make sure that the dinosaur remains inanimate.

This story is a visual masterpiece celebrating the magic and power of children’s imaginations.

  •  

    Based on the book cover, make predictions about what is in the bag.

  •  

    Pause the reading when the Tyrannosaurus Rex has the children trapped in the tunnel. Consider the story carefully and predict what will happen next.

  •  

    Discuss how this book can be a metaphor for how we have the power to make things happen, good or bad, and the ability to take control of situations.

  •  

    Discuss the expression: “Be careful what you wish for.” Make connections between this expression and your personal experience, other texts or events. Make or take pictures to define the expression. Exchange and discuss with partners.

  •  

    Based on the book cover, make predictions about what is in the bag.

  •  

    Explore the pictures and discuss the setting, characters and actions. How did the illustrator express feelings through the pictures? How does he make the pictures look so realistic?

  •  

    Discuss how this book can be a metaphor for how we have the power to make things happen, good or bad, and the ability to take control of situations.

  •  

    Discuss the expression: “Be careful what you wish for.” Explore its meaning, giving examples. Make or take pictures to define the expression. Exchange and discuss with partners.

  • To communicate appropriately
  • To exercise critical judgment
  • To use creativity
  • Citizenship and Community Life
  • Environmental Awareness and Consumer Rights and Responsibilities
  • Ethics and Religious Culture